Africa’s technology potential must be explored- IT experts

Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda's Minister of Youths and ICT addressing the summit

Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Youths and ICT addressing the summit

The 2015 Transform Africa Summit ended today with a call for African leaders to empower youth to steer the already existing potential Africa has exhibited to be the next continent of opportunity and information technology.

Speaking at the ICTs-themed gathering Rwandan leader Paul Kagame said Africa must put technological innovations at the core of its development plans as a way of ensuring that the continent is keeps up with other continents.

“Africa has often missed the opportunity to accelerate growth by putting ICTs at the core of our plans, we can ensure that Africa isn’t left behind again, because we have the potential” Kagame said.

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union ITU, Houlin Zhao has said that the growth of ICT’s in Africa remains a phenomenon that is posed to challenge other countries including the west.

Zhao said that sustainable development goals will not be achieved unless Africa put emphasis on ICT initiatives that have already proved to transform lives of people during the implementation of millennium development goals.

“Without support of ICT’s these Millennium Development Goals couldn’t be achieved. That is why I have put in my personal efforts and willingness to promote initiatives such transform Africa, which have been a driving force in effecting change in lives of people” Zhao noted.

The summit also ended with various commitments to bridge the digital divide and empower more people to use ICTs as a solution to the continent’s challenges that have impeded development.

Rwanda contributed $ 1 million to the fund towards the Smart Africa scholarship fund which has so far seen seven undergraduates take courses at Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda.

Babylon health, a Europe based firm announced Tuesday intentions to expand its services to Rwanda saying it’s “a priority country in Africa.”

Babylon healthcare mobile phone applications enables patients to access expert medical advice, consultant referrals or prescriptions without leaving their homes or offices.

The TAS 2015 also featured the launch of Facebook in Kinyarwanda (Rwanda’s local language) and the launch of the first fourth Generation (4G) internet services on smart phones in Rwanda by Tigo Rwanda.

Alongside the TAS event, was the Fibre To The Home Conference (FTTH) 2015, which highlighted the need to make fiber optics cost effective and easy to access in bid to empower the communities to move faster in accessing, sending data.

The three day 2015 Transform Africa Summit (TAS 2015) in Kigali, Rwanda attracted over 2500 participants from 81 countries.